Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Organizational planning, management, governance & marketing

Based on a survey of over 4,000 orchestra attendees and “the largest ever orchestra sales dataset” from 44 American orchestras and one Canadian one (the National Arts Centre Orchestra), this report examines “why people subscribe, why they lapse, and what they might want that is not currently being offered” in current orchestra subscription packages.

This literature review investigates how some cultural organizations and funders have improved “diversity in cultural organizations, in the areas of their leadership, staffing, programming and audience composition”. Elements of diversity include race, culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and age.

A Guidebook for Working with Artists who are Deaf or have Disabilities

Developed as part of the Canada Council’s Expanding the Arts strategy, this guidebook aims to provide “an important resource for companies and organizations working towards increasing the participation rates within their processes of people who are Deaf or who have disabilities”. That being said, the guide also notes that “the environment within which people who are Deaf and who have disabilities continues to change. Best practices and protocols around accessibility and accommodation must be responsive to this continually changing environment.”

A Guide to Developing and Delivering Accessible and Inclusive Programs within Arts and Cultural Organizations

Originally developed for the art education experiences provided by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, this guidebook outlines “seven steps to accessible and inclusive programs” that can be “beneficial to both audience and institution”. The guide emphasizes that accessible programs are “more than physical facilities”, and inclusive programs are “more than sharing a space”.

Based largely on data from 48 cultural organizations that offer regularly scheduled free days, this article argues that “free days often do the very opposite of mission work”, in that they tend to attract higher income individuals who probably would have come (back) to the organization anyway.

It’s not just the price of admission that’s keeping poor and less-educated adults away from arts events

This article, based on a variety of reports and data sources, indicates that “there is a significant proportion of economically disadvantaged people who do not take the initiative to experience the arts, even when time and cost are not issues.” Furthermore, the article argues that “a lack of explicit interest is far and away the dominant factor keeping low-SES [socioeconomic status] populations away from arts events”. Low socioeconomic status is defined “as those with at most a high school education and in the bottom half of the income distribution in the United States”.

A Synthesis of Literature and Expert Interviews

This literature review, originally created as part of a California arts participation study, explores how people participate in the arts, who participates, where participation happens, as well as motivations and barriers to participation.

Based on the 2012 U.S. General Social Survey, this report provides a detailed examination of the motivations of arts attendees (the 54% of Americans who attended at least one exhibition or performance during the previous year) and the barriers facing “interested non-attendees” (the 13% who did not attend a visual or performing arts event during the previous year but wanted to go to at least one exhibition or live performance).

This report highlights the result of a survey of the digital marketing practices of 125 performing arts organizations in the United States. Theatres (41%) and presenting organizations (27%) accounted for over two-thirds of the respondents. As noted in the report, “125+ organizations do not make this data statistically significant”. Nevertheless, there are some interesting findings regarding the digital marketing of performing arts organizations.

A Critical Role for Grantmakers

Based on a literature review, exploratory interviews with arts organization leaders, a review of grantmakers’ practices, and the author’s experience, this article argues that “arts organizations must become knowledge-centric, by using knowledge to advance their missions and goals, gathering and leveraging disparate data and information, and creating a culture where knowledge is a core value”.